Joan Morris - Songhees Elder

November 29, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017, 7:30pm

Author reading/discussion 

Beacon House

Protection Island


Joan Morris will talk about her experiences at the Nanaimo Indiana Hospital. The Nanaimo Indian Hospital was one of the many segregated facilities for Indigenous people across Canada. Indian hospitals were places that were established less to help the Indigenous sick than to keep them separate from a racist population ..notorious sites of abuse and neglect.


The book  Medicine Unbundled: A Journey through the minefields of Indigenous Health Care was written by Gary Geddes and Joan Morris after Joan related her story at the Truth and Reconciliation meetings. In her words “  I went to residential school before the Indian Hospital.  The hospital was 100 times worse.” Joanie ran an Indian  hospital group and learned that “ people had more compassion for animals, than they did for Aboriginal people in those hospitals.   Joan attended the Kuper Island residential school. 


Joanie as her friends call her, shares the name Sellemah with Dr. Nancy Turner, renowned ethnobotanist, who will accompany her.  According to Nancy, Joanie is a star, brilliant, wise and generous and despite her experiences at residential school and the Indian hospital she has always maintained her integrity, her sense of humour and warm and loving spirit.


All royalties from the book will go to the Sellemah Scholarship, which benefit an Indigenous student studying in the faculty of Social Sciences at UVic.

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"Nanaimo Arts Council acknowledges with gratitude that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation."